I had a lot of fun using EQStitch and my embroidery machine to quilt my most recent project – a baby quilt. I saw a similar baby quilt on Pinterest and thought it would be the perfect project for quilting, block by block in the hoop, using my embroidery machine.

“Welcome Baby” quilted using EQStitch and my embroidery machine

I’m not totally sure why I thought this…because I thought it would be easy to find the center of a 4-inch square because it’s plain? Because I figured it would be a lot easier to handle the size of a baby quilt than something larger? Whatever the original thought, it turned out to be super easy AND super fun.

If you like, you can download the EQStitch project or the EQ7 project and check it out.

I assembled the top and the back and sprayed and pinned my quilt sandwich together. I was ready to start the quilting. Since I had a bit of a star theme going with the front, I decided on Sky Diamond Variation 3 from Quilting Designs Volume 7. I added this design to my Sketchbook and edited it to the Block worktable. When I copied and pasted the block to the Stitching worktable, I didn’t love the way that the block stitched when I simulated the stitching. It would stitch one star and then “jump” to the next. I could see that changing the stitching order would allow me to start the stitching in the center of the design and to complete it in one continuous stitching pattern.

So I went back to the Artwork tab and converted the drawing to guides. With the Line tool it was easy to trace the design in the order that I wanted it to stitch.

This is a simulation of my new stitching pattern. Starts in the center and ends in the center.

I applied a Run stitch with a stitch length of 2.8 mms. I saved the design to my project and exported the file for my Janome machine. I would hoop the quilt sandwich taking care to make sure it was secure yet not too tight as to cause “hoop burn” to my fabric. Each design took just over 2 minutes and about 310 stitches. Then I would reposition the hoop on another square and stitch. Easy! (My son stopped over one evening and was witnessing the process. He said that he thought I was cheating…..not really quilting…..he’s not a quilter – obviously!)

Once the quilting and binding were done, I was ready to work on the label. I created a horizontal one-by-one quilt with no borders and used the applique text tool for my wording. I used File > Export Image to create a JPG file of the label. Then I went to the Image worktable and imported the JPG and used EQ to print it to my printable fabric. I decided it would be fun to add a simple machine applique star to the label. Sky Diamond Variation 2 from Quilting Designs Volume 7 only needed to be resized and I was ready to stitch.

Here’s my label plus you can see the stars in the quilting more easily on the back.

I’m thinking that the baby quilts in my future will be quilted using EQStitch, even if it is it cheating. I hope to improve my skills at fabric selection. I find that selecting fabrics is SO difficult for me. Dean (EQ President, EQ programmer, my boss!) once told me that he had helped his daughter with a school project that involved the use of cardboard. Sometime afterwards he overheard his daughter telling one of her little girlfriends that her dad was a genius with cardboard! I think that Margaret Okuley (EQ employee and head quilter) is a genius with fabric. I’ve been picking her brain about fabric selection. I’m lucky to have access to her insight and experience.

So here I am with my finished quilt doing “show and tell” at the EQ office. I was happy with the results and know that my niece will appreciate the gift. Hopefully I’ll get to see this quilt wrapped around a newborn baby this Christmas.